By Arla, Oct 14 2020 01:00AM
It is the third Passover since Jesus began his ministry. The Pharisees and scribes have carefully thought out a trap for him.
Knowing this, Jesus avoids them, but they seek him out asking, "Why don't your disciples observe the traditions of the elders?"
Necessary background is the traditions, added to the law to "help" people observe it, have become more honored than the actual law itself. If the two are in question, tradition is considered more sacred.
In front of all the people, their trusted teachers ask Jesus, "Why don't your disciples wash before eating?" Can you hear the crowd gasping?
Ceremonial purification and hand-washing are strenuously enforced to the point of absurdity--considering it righteous to destroy those who ignore it! There are so many rules about washing and purification that you can barely learn them in a lifetime! Their practice of religion is an endless struggle against defilement.
All ears are tuned to his answer. This has been the burden of their lives: cleansing--getting it right.
This is always Satan's resistance to relationship with God. Get them so focused on trifling distinctions, not required by God, that they miss the main points of His law--love, fairness, and mercy. Focus them on themselves. Fill them with disputing some minor point so they miss the living reality of God's law right in front of them--Jesus.
"You reject the law of God instructing you to honor father and mother by teaching people to observe "Corban"-- tradition!" Jesus doesn't even dignify their question by addressing it, but cuts straight to exposing their hypocrisy.
Matthew 15:1-3, Mark 7:1-6